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Wada's test

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Unilateral injection of amobarbital into an internal carotid artery to produce transient hemiparesis of the contralateral limbs. Juhn Wada originally developed the test to determine which side of the brain controlled speech. Theodore Rasmussen substantiated the application of the test so that it could be used safely, not only for testing cerebral lateralization of speech function, but modified as well for assessment of memory and EEG localization of epileptogenic areas. Wada's procedure is employed at most epilepsy surgery centres.


  • J. Wada:
    (A new method for the determination of the side of cerebral speech dominance. A preliminary report of the intra-carotid injection of sodium amytal in man).
    Igaku to Seibutsugaki, Tokyo, 1949, 14, 221-222.
  • J. Wada & T. Rasmussen:
    Intracarotid injection of sodium Amytal for the lateralization of cerebral speech dominance: Experimental and clinical observations.
    Journal of Neurosurgery, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1960, 17, 266-282.
  • T. Rasmussen, B. Milner:
    The role of early left-brain injury in determining lateralization of cerebral speech functions. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1977, 299: 355-369.
  • E. Strauss, J. Wada, B. Goldwater:
    Sex differences in interhemispheric reorganization of speech.
    Neuropsychologia, Oxford, 1992, 30, 353-359.
  • E. Strauss, P. Satz, J. Wada:
    An examination of the crowding hypothese in epileptic patients who have undergone the carotid amytal test. Neuropsycholgia, 1990, 28, 1221-1227.

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